Top Ten Tuesday: Vacation Memories

Since I am in the midst of the longest stretch of work with no break (from Sept 7 until Thanksgiving), I thought an appropriate Top Ten list this week would be vacation memories.

Lately I have been finding myself dreaming of going far, far away with my little family so that we can get some much needed rest and relaxation together.  These dreams have taken me back to some memories I have of traveling with my family, with my husband, with my friends, and with my little family of three.

So here we go….

10. My mom walking off the dock in Pentwater, MI. I was in high school when my family rented a cottage up north in Pentwater, MI, and my parents let me take my best friend, Tonya, along with us.  This particular cottage didn’t have any private beach, but it did have a private dock that had a lovely wide end to it for sunning and swimming and just having fun in the water.  The first day we were there, my brothers, parents, Tonya, and I were headed out to the dock to hang out.  Everyone was preoccupied with what they were doing.

Apparently my mom was so preoccupied, that she didn’t  notice that the dock ended and she walked right off of it.  She tried to play it off like she jumped in, saying things like, “whew!  it’s hot out!  this water feels SO good!”  But Tonya had watched her do it and was laughing so hard she couldn’t breathe.  My mom being totally busted…and soaking wet…was pretty hilarious.

9. Buffalo with my fiance. The year before Cort and I were married we took a trip to New York state to visit friends (oh hey, Phil and Liz!!) who lived in Rochester at the time.  Before we got there, though, we wanted to stop for a couple nights in Buffalo.  I wanted to go to the zoo–which was talked up on their website as being the third oldest zoo in the nation, having elephant washing, giraffe feeding, and camel riding–and Cort wanted to see Niagara Falls (even though I

Monkeys at the Buffalo Zoo

told him it’s just a lot of water).

This story could be a whole post, but I will boil it down to this:  Buffalo Zoo?  Lame.  We did not get to feed any giraffes, wash any elephants, or ride any camels.  We set aside a whole day for a zoo we walked int 20 minutes.  And Niagara Falls?  Cort agreed it was just a lot of water.

But we had fun laughing at our misfortune, AND we had a super time once we got to Rochester!

8. Spring Break in college. The one and only time I ever went on a spring break trip was my sophomore year in college.  A group of friends (Go Broncos!!) and I took a plane (my first jet ride ever) to St Petersburg, FL for a week-long stay.  Every day we sat by the pool and tanned.  Most of us were under 21, so we didn’t do a lot of night life, but it didn’t matter.  We had so much fun just hanging out!  And since there were five of us and only two queen-sized beds?  We rotated the person who slept on the floor. It was just plain fun and crazy.

7. Florida with my family. About four years before the spring break trip to Florida, my family took us all to Orlando, FL.  It was one of the first “big” trips my family ever took together (we usually just rented cottages for a week).  We drove the 24 hours there as a family in a van.  I have lots of hilarious memories from this trip, but one that has to do with me was when we were in the Magic Kingdom and I (an almost-sophomore in high school) was SO crabby, my mom actually made me take a time out!  While my dad and my brothers enjoyed Thunder Mountain?  I was stuck on a bench sipping a diet coke until I could “improve my mood.”

6. Tigers baseball game with my family. We have been to MANY Tiger Ball games together as a family, but one in particular sticks out to me because I. DID. NOT. WANT. TO. BE. THERE.

My family had just gotten down with a trip that included Cedar Point and a drive-thru safari (a WHOLE different memory), we were making our way back through Michigan via Detroit because my parents had gotten us tickets to see a game.  People?  As a 16 year old teenager?  I was done.  I did NOT want to be on this trip anymore.

To show my displeasure, I ridiculed (loudly) everything about the game, I insisted on showing off my new Spanish skills (thank you, high school Spanish II) by ordering my refreshments only en espanol, and I targeted the poor kid who was sitting in front of us.

That was probably the most obnoxious thing that I did.  This kid was a total Ken Griffey, Jr fan and every time Griffey did something great, he would say, “ROOOOUTINE hit for Griffey!”

It was that annoying.

So I started quietly heckling.  Finally, Griffey struck out and I leaned forward and yelled, “ROOOOOOOUTINE HIT FOR GRIFFEY!”

Dining at the Experience Music Project

The kid did not say another word the entire game.

5. Seattle with my hubby. One year after being married, Cortney and I decided to fly (my second time on a jet) to Seattle–the home of his favorite band, Pearl Jam–for a week-long vacation.  He didn’t want to be around for the “anniversary” of his dad’s passing away, and Seattle was some place we both really wanted to visit.  So we went.

We went to a zoo (duh), and aquarium (duh), the Experience Music Project, the Space Needle, the Pacific Ocean, Pike Place Market, and lots of downtown wanderings.

4. Montana for one of my best friends. Because I will do anything for my friends, Cort and I decided our vacation in 2007 would be the trip we were making to Montana for a wedding that I was in.  I blogged about it here.

Looking good at the Montana wedding

We found out a few things on that trip:  North Dakota is boring.  Montana is beautiful (and boring), Wyoming is beautiful (and boring), South Dakota has some good place to stop, but the Mitchel Corn Palace is not one of them.

3. Camping/Canoeing with the in-laws. Ok, I hate camping.  It is NOT my idea of a vacation.  But we have gone twice.  TWICE!  I blogged about both trips here, here, and here.  Despite my hate of all things camping, we have a pretty damn good time!

Canoe Trip 2010

2. Indianapolis with my family of three. This past summer’s trip to Indy will always be a favorite of mine because it was our very first vacation as a family of three.  Granted, it was only three days, but in that three days, we spent two (successful) nights in a hotel with a toddler, did some sight-seeing, visited with great friends, met some new great friends, and spent a total of eight hours in the car with

My bloggy friends in Indy

a screaming toddler.

1. My honeymoon. You knew this had to be #1, right?  Most people at this point would talk all about their magical getaway to some all inclusive resort, or perhaps a romantic trip to Europe?  Maybe a cruise?

Not us.  We were on a budget, people.

We went to Myrtle Beach.  Actually, we DROVE to Myrtle Beach. Yes, I know there are some kick ass places to stay and be pampered in Myrtle Beach.  No, we did not stay at one of them.  We stayed at the Mystic Sea Resort–which, upon arriving?  Cort deemed neither Mystical nor Resortish.  In fact, he may have used a swear word and then commented how it looked nothing like what it did on the internet (you would think we would have learned from the Buffalo Zoo debacle, wouldn’t you?).

Two newlywed beach bums

There are so many stories I can tell you about Myrtle Beach, but the main thing is that we started our marriage off with something we could afford and made it fun.  We laughed until we cried.  We enjoyed being together.  And it was perfect.

Don’t get me wrong, some day I would LOVE to go on a “real” vacation.  Something all-inclusive.  Somewhere that creates little swans and monkeys out of my towels.  But until then, we will have fun with our budget vacations.  It’s what I am used to growing up, and it is what you make it!

Now how about you?  Do you have a Top Ten list of your vacation memories?  Link it up!  And tune in this weekend when I announce next week’s Top Ten Tuesday Topic!

Father’s Day, A Giveaway Winner, and a Tigers Game…Oh My!

Holy COW What a busy couple days we have had here in Sluiter Nation!  This post is all about this weekend:  Father’s Day, A baseball game, and at the end?  You know it!  The mLphotography gift certificate winner!!!

As you all know, today was Cortney’s first Father’s Day!  He was ALMOST a dad last year on Father’sDay.  If you’ve been reading, I’ve

been putting Eddie’s birthday story in installments here on the blog.  First we had to weather a HUGE storm; then we were in a wedding where I was just sluggish all day.  The day after that was Father’s Day…like today we had a million places to be.  First we went and watched Cort’s sis and her new hubs open wedding gifts.  Then we had to bust a move to my side of the family for some Father’s Day fun.  It just seemed like I was moving SOOO SLOWLY.  I had a pretty great pregnancy, but the two days previous definitely took their toll on me and by father’s day I was just ready to be DONE.

This year was even BUSIER.  Yesterday, Cort took me to a Tigers game in Detroit for our anniversary (pics in a minute). We spent the night since it was a night game.  Eddie had a slumber party with his best buds, Jake and Joe (sweet pic of that in a minute too).

So this morning Cort and I busted out of the D by 8:00am so we could pick Eddie up, get home and feed him, get back to my parents’ house and hopefully stop to see Cort’s stepdad.  Turns out Cort’s stepdad had to work, so he wasn’t going to be home, and Eddie MASSIVELY needed a nap (as did his parents), so we ended up back at home.

I feel like the day was such a whirlwind we didn’t get to properly love on the dads.

So here we go (WARNING…this post is going to get lengthy).

That is my dad over there ————–>

And yes, that was taken last year when I was preggo.  My dad is pretty cool.  I told you about him on his birthday.  My dad and I have the same stupid sense of humor according to my mom.  He’s the classic DAD.

He’s the guy that I still swear has ALL the answers to anything.  When I was a kid I remember asking him why we had to set our clocks back and ahead for day lights saving time.  He explained to me why.  I am not sure it was the real reason since I don’t remember him mentioning the government, but he sure acted like he knew.  He was always good like that.  He always does the same thing when he’s going to explain something.  He puts one hand out, closes his eyes for a second like he’s thinking of the best way to explain it and says, “well…” and then starts in.  Best dad ever.

We even have our own song, “Hey, Hey We’re The Monkees.” by The Monkees.  He used to sing it to me at bedtime when I was very little.  It made my night!  And when it was time to walk me down the aisle, instead of getting all sappy (thank you, by the way dad), I started singing, “here we come…walking down the street…” very softly and he laughed.  It was super great.

Father’s Day is hard for me to write about.  For one, I’m not a father.  It’s not like Mother’s Day when I could talk about how great it was to be a mother now and all that I am learning from my mom’s.  Secondly, it’s tough because we are missing a dad.  Cort’s dad died almost five years ago from lung cancer.  He was AWESOME.

Cort was very close with his dad.  They even looked a LOT alike.  This picture was taken a LONG time ago on one of their family boat trips.  He and his dad were two peas in a pod.  It was very difficult to lose such an awesomely funny, loving guy.  He was only my dad-in-law for two months, but he will forever be in my heart.  I got to share some great moments with him in the short time that I could call him Pops.  I know Cort misses his dad all the time, but days like today are even tougher. I know Cort would love to talk “dad” stuff with his old man, and I know he wishes Eddie could have known his Papa Steve.

Cort does have a stepdad though. His parents divorced years ago, and Ray is married to Cortney’s mom. He is just a GREAT guy!  Ray is Eddie’s Grampy and we just love him!  He is the nicest, kindest guy who will do just about anything for the people he loves.

We feel so blessed that we have him in our life!

Today is also about Eddie’s dad-do.  Almost a year ago, Cortney welcomed his little boy into the world and took on the role of father.  He has done even more than I could ever hope in this role.  He helped me with feedings and household stuff after we came home from the hospital.  He went on coffee runs every morning for two weeks to help us be more comfortable with our new little family.

Since being laid off in October, he has stepped up as a Stay At Home Dad (SAHD), and he is AWESOME at it.  His patience far surpasses mine and he is very good about playing with Eddie and knowing all his cues for hunger, sleep, and just grumpiness.  He brings him out on “field trips” each day too!  He is just so loving and wonderful.  Many times I catch myself smiling or tearing up just watching him love our little boy!

Speaking of taking good care of things…Cort takes good care of me too!  For our anniversary, not only did we go out to eat, but we decided to go see at Detroit Tigers baseball game (our FAVORITE team).  It was super great!  We stayed right near the field.  It was only a few short blocks to walk there.

Once there we found our seats and then decided to be on the quest for the Joel Zumaya jersey that I have been desperately wanting…and we found it!

This is us before the game started.  Man were we excited!  And we got there early enough that we could walk around and get some hotdogs and gear before the game started!  FUN!

I got me one of these tasty beverages–pina colada and strawberry daiquiri…YUM!.  Don’t worry, mom.  I remembered NOT to chug it this time.  No sick here!  It was almost 90 degrees though, so I COULD have chugged it.  But instead I sipped it and then had a hot dog and a pretzel.  And a beer.  I was at the ball park after all!

The Tigers played the Arizona Diamond Backs.  It was a pretty exciting game!

Love us some Comerica Park!
Look Mom!  I got a picture of Mags for you!  Your Tiger!  ROAR!
Also had to get a picture of the Fox Sports Detroit booth.  Big ups to Rod standing there!  Whoot!
Oh, and while we were enjoying the game, this is what my son was doing.  We didn’t know when we dropped him off that pool fun would be part of his slumber party, so we didn’t pack his swimsuit.  But not to worry!  The Visels had a spare speedo for him.  And a spare hat!
He is TOTALLY rocking that look, is he not?  Meow.
Back at the game, the Tigers were not winning.  They needed up to RALLY!  So I turned my visor upside down and got my rally on!
It didn’t work.  They lost 5-6.  But we were still happy because it was such a fun time…oh…and the show was SO not over.
Um, yes.  That would be a WEDDING on  home plate after the game! WHAT!? Yes, it’s true.  They won a radio contest!  It was crazy.
After the game and the wedding, we watched the fireworks before walking back to our hotel.  It was such a fun little get away, but we did keep on talking about what Eddie would love about this and that.  We sure missed him!  I guess that is the thing about being parents, you want to get away from the mundane schedule so bad, but when you do, you miss the little guy!  Sigh….
Oh!  Before I forget and wrap up this super long crazy random post, we have a WINNER for the mLphotography $25 gift certificate!  So many people commented who weren’t actually entering the giveaway, that was not going to work out for me.  So I put everyone’s names who WERE entering in my Stetson the number of times they entered (does that make sense???) and Eddie picked a winner:
Oh yeah, and you are NOT allowed to laugh at how broke down I look in this video.  It has been a long day already.  Ahem…anyway…the WINNER…

So congrats!!!

We will be having ONE more giveaway to be announced on Eddie’s birthday (Wednesday).  He wanted to give you all something for being such great readers and peeps.  So one more giveaway to come!  And Eddie’s birthday story to be concluded!

Whew!  hope you all had as much fun as we did!

Tigers Home Opener! ROAR!

Today was a beautiful day for a ball game…a Tigers Home Opener ball game, to be exact!
We were already to go…to my brother, Chris’s, apartment to watch the game with the Riemersma side of the family.
We were all decked out in our Tiger gear…some of us had newer gear than others.
Even Eddie had his Tiger stuff in support of his team!
Mom and Dad…the reason we all love this team!
Thumbs up for Tigers and $5 Hot n Ready Pies!
Uncle Michael entertained his nephews during the game.
Eddie loves baseball, but he also loves getting attention from everyone else.
Cortney and I love our Tigers!
Eddie found this rocking chair that used to be mine when I was little. I think he loves it. Hmmm…maybe he needs his own little chair.
Nine innings of watching the Tigers kick some Cleveland bootie was just too much for our Wee One. He cashed out by the seventh inning stretch.
He woke back up to play with his cousin, Jack, though! These two are going to be double trouble in NO time!
Tigers Win!!! What a great way to start the home season! Thanks, Chris, for having us all over for such a great day (and Auntie Ashley, we MISSED you)!


It was a night of firsts last night: My first Tiger game WITHOUT the rest of my family. My first hot dog at the park (usually I just drink), my first BEER at the park (I usually just drink those tasty long fruity drinks), and unfortunately, my first LOSS at the park. That’s right, in all the years that my family has taken me to the games at Tiger Stadium and then at Comerica Park, I have never witnessed the Tigers lose in person. So that was a bummer. So was the TRAFFIC there and home! We encountered THREE traffic jams on our way to the park causing it to take us about 4 hours to get to Detroit. Luckily parking is so easy and the walk is quick. The game was great! We went with our friends Mat and Tom. Tom hasn’t seen the Tigers WIN since 1987, so apparently his streak outshined mine. We had lots of fun eating the expensive food and drinking the tasty beverages. Once the sun went behind the stadium, it even cooled off to a comfortable 79 degrees (still muggy though). The tigers lost 7-1 to Tampa Bay, but it was still a good time. The game always flies by when you are actually there. A foul ball was even hit into our section. Tom and I tried to get it, but it went to a guy two rows ahead of us. The drive home was not so awesome. We were making excellent time when BAM! We were stuck in another traffic jam for about an hour! UGH! At least this one was due to construction – the ones on the way there were all due to accidents, and of course most of the slowness was due to gawkers. Very frustrating. We actually SAW an accident happen too – but were close enough not to be involved in the back up that it would cause. People are just dumb. At least the game was fun! Go Tigers!